Friday, August 19, 2016

42 Favorites

I'll be turning 42 a week from now.  I thought I could write something fun in relation to my birthday so I decided to  come up with this post.

Here are my 42 favorites in no particular order.

1. Tagaytay
     I fell in love with this place 30 years ago when I first visited it on a field trip with my classmates. Countless visits after that, I am still in love with the place and I still cannot help but goggle at the scenic Taal Lake. If you want to make me happy take me there. I just hope people would just stop building new infrastructures and high rises in the city. The high rise buildings are slowly taking the charm off the city.

2. Song de Chine by Crabtree and Evelyn
    This is my most favorite scent. I discovered it in 2000. Unfortunately, they don't carry it anymore.

3. Crema de Mangga
     This is the dessert I love best. I love making it. I sing in anticipation of eating it. I can actually eat it all day. There's something heavenly about the sweet Zambales mangoes and cream.  If you want to make some but don't know how, you can check out my recipe.

4. Zambales Mangoes
    This variety is one of the sweetest in the world and I'm lucky to have been born with a small Zambales mango farm. Zambales mangoes are so sweet I thank God I'm alive everytime I eat one.

5. Hongkong
    I have visited this place thrice and compared to other Asian countries I have visited, this is the place I want to go back to everytime I think of taking a trip.

6. Jean Valjean
He is my favorite male protagonist. To me, he is the best example of human transcendence.  I just love him!

with 2016 Production's Jean Valjean


7. Les Miserables (novel and musical)
    I first heard the songs 25 years ago and read the novel after a few months. I fell in love with the novel and fell in love with the musical. I loved how the music and songs were able to express exactly the sentiments of the novel (except for the character of Marius whom I hate).



8. Victor Hugo
He had a deep understanding of man, his motives and intentions. Without him, there will be no Les Miserables and therefore, no Jean Valjean.

9. Wuthering Heights
This is the only depressing story that I love. I wish the one who borrowed my copy would return it to me...wishful thinking.

10. Scarlett O'Hara

She is my favorite female protagonist. I don't know why I love her because many people hate her.  She is actually really hateful and while reading the book I hated her too but afterwards I loved her character. Weird huh?

11. Gone with the Wind

I love history and culture and this book has a lot of both.

12. Pesto
This always tops my list be it a dip or pasta sauce. It's very easy to make too!

 13. Christmas
Who doesn't love this holiday? Christmas just fills you with joy and nostalgia. Each Christmas tune or decor or even just the weather brings you memories of Christmas past and hope for what's to come. It's my favorite day of the year which makes  December my favorite month.

14. December
     This is such a happy month for me. First it's the holiday season so there are lots of events to go to. Second, this is the month of our wedding anniversary and the the month when we first learned I was pregnant with Sofia.

15. The town of Taal
      As you have read above, I am a lover of history and culture.  It is for this reason that I love the heritage town of Taal.  Unlike other parts of the country where people have no sense of history and old houses are demolished to make way for modern ones, the people of Taal have found a way to preserve their old houses and keep an old-world charm.  To preserve this feel, atm's, McDonald's, Jollibee are nowhere to be found.  The heritage town is also famous for their balisong, longganisa, tapa and cheap hand-embrodered barong Tagalog.

a bird's eyeview atop the Taal Basilica

16. Taal Basilica

This is the largest Catholic church in Asia.  Each pillar, each stone speaks of history.  I couldn't help but fall in love at first sight.  I've always wanted to visit it and when I finally did, I was not disappointed.  In fact, I was amazed beyond my expectations.

17. lace
   

    There's something about lace that makes me feel so feminine.

18. August
     This is the month of my birth, the month of my mom's birth and the month I first became a mom.
a young mother at 25....(a few weeks before my 26th birthday)

19. buko salad (strips of young coconut meat, with grapes,cherries, pears, condensed milk and nestle cream)

Of all the salads, this is my favorite.  I can eat kilos of it in a day!

20. musical plays
      My dad used to take  us to musical plays when I was a teenager.  This made me fall in love with the theater, most specially with musical plays.

21. Daughtry's Gone Too Soon

      This song is just perfect for parents who have angel babies.

22.  The Accidental Hero
       This movie which starred Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Geena Davis was a very funny movie.   I watched it in when I was still in college and never forgot it. I loved it so much that I bought a copy of it four years ago. In a funny way, it showed the sad reality that we judge by appearances,  and the inspiring truth that all of us, even the unlikely ones, can all be heroes if life catches us at the right moment.

23.  Ever After
       This Drew Barrymore movie was the best Cinderalla movie for me.

24.  Legally Blonde
      I fell in love with Reese Witherspoon in this movie....one of the movies I love watching again and again.

25. April
     This is the month of my Sofie's birth.  Though it was also the month she went back to Heaven, I will always look forward to celebrating her birthday.

   
Sofia's 1st birthday celebration - picnic in the mountains

26. Makati City
    As a young girl, working in Makati had always been my dream. To the young  impressionable version of me, Makati offered a world of modernity and sophistication which other cities lacked,   specially in the 80's, so when I finished college I never entertained calls from companies without a Makati address.  I accepted an offer from a multinational financial company three months after graduation and Makati became my home for almost ten years--- the place where many of my most memorable  memories were made, where most of my lasting friendships were built.  Today, so many things have changed, I can hardly recognize some of the streets but it will always be special to me as evidenced by the feeling of nostalgia that I always have whenever I visit.
 
 30. White pearls
       The simplicity and elegance of pearls have always been beautiful in my eyes.

 31. Crystals
       Who wouldn't love how they sparkle in the sun?

 32. Carnation and Gerbera
       These are really pretty flowers that can stay pretty for a long time.

 33. Ronan Keating
       A handsome man with a beautiful voice

 34. Christopher Reeve
       He will always be my Superman.

 35. Smallville
       Loved this show...thanks to my husband who introduced it to me.

 36. MacGyver
       He formed many of my ideals and inspired some of the decisions I made in my younger years.
     
 37. Monk and Psych
      These were really funny TV series.  My son introduced them to me and my Hunnybed and we had a lot of laughing-out-loud moments watching them.

 38. Michael Jackson
      Well, he's the King of Pop.  Need I say more?

 39. Body Shop's Vitamin E (day cream)
      It's the best moisturizer for me  -- very light, easily absorbed by the skin and leaves no sticky feeling.

  40. Cheetos Jalapeno
        Cheese and jalapeno are just the best combination.

  41. My son's first story.
       He wrote it when he was six years old. You can check it out here.  On second thought, maybe it was his second because the title reads "Johnny English Part 2".

  42. A post I wrote about Sofia.
        This is the story of her birth and her flying back to Heaven. Check it out here

What are your favorites?

   

   

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Monday Morning

I just can't understand why some establishments have their people check receipts of customers at the exit.  I mean, I do understand that they're doing it to make sure nobody is leaving without paying but what I don't understand is why they risk offending paying customers by asking to check their receipts. I mean, why not install cameras and tighten security at the check out counters to make sure everybody really passes through the cashiers?  I don't know about other people, but my husband and I get irritated when security guards at the exit ask for our receipt.

What happened at Landers yesterday was worse.  We applied for membership on the same day and went on to have a crowded shopping experience.  That was fine.  After paying for our items,  we were stopped by one of their staff who was standing a few meters away from the cashier.  She asked for our receipt and then started rummaging through our bags, taking some items out, counting the items and checking the items off the receipt, one by one.  I mean, what right did she have touching the things we paid for and therefore OWNED without asking for our permission?  I calmly told her, "Alam mo Miss, hindi niyo dapat ginagawa yan kasi nakaka-offend ng customer. Ano bang gusto niyong palabasin, na kumuha kami ng mga items na hindi namin binayaran?" (You  know, you shouldn't do that because it is offensive.  What are you trying to imply, that we got items that we didn't pay for?) And what really irritated me was the way she sarcastically grinned as she went on checking our items.  She didn't even stop to look at me and my husband while we were talking to her.  I felt all my blood going up to my face.  I could only imagine what my face looked like.  Usually, I don't go back after such lousy treatment from an establishment but I already paid for a membership card.  I just wouldn't renew next year. These  membership stores check receipts to ensure accuracy of all transactions ( so they say).  If that's their goal then they have to train their cashiers properly and  let them be the one to ensure everything is encoded properly in their machines.  After that, items I paid for are mine, and therefore cannot be touched or unpacked without my permission.  I just can't understand why nobody else is complaining.

The only thing that made the day better was the wine ice cream we bought.


I'm sitting on my bed, hoping I didn't have a pile of laundry waiting to be washed.  It's a rainy day. Classes in Metro Manila have been suspended and all I wish is some "me" time under the covers while watching a feel-good movie on DVD.

I would probably have to postpone the laundry til after lunch.  Then I'll force my son to watch a marathon of Flash or Hawaii Five-O (or any of the series that he likes) with me in the living room while the machine helps me with the laundry.  For now, I'll have to do a little organizing in the bedroom.


What are you up to this rainy Monday?  What irritates you as a customer?





Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Power of Writing

I have never been a planner girl.  I have never liked listing to-do's.  I was the type of person who just kept all her to-do's and to-go's in her mind.  And for years I have struggled trying to make sure I remembered everything.  I even used to describe these things I kept in my memory as cobwebs because they were like that -- webs that intersected with one another, keeping my mind from thinking clearly, or from relaxing because everywhere I went, whatever I was doing,  I was always making constant reminders to myself to do this and that.

When Starbucks started coming out with planners, Hunnybed gave me one and every year after that.  I tried using the planners but I would usually stop after a month. I don't know why.

Last year, I got introduced to the traveler's notebook and to bullet journals.  I started watching people on YouTube, planners who talked about their inserts, their systems.  Pretty soon, I was also already making my own fauxdori and my own inserts.  I have also experimented on different systems and layouts and am now just trying to see which ones I like best.

my current weekly layout for this week

I don't know why, but ever since I was the one making my own notebooks and layouts, I have been religiously writing things down.  And I am amazed at how clearer my mind has become since then. I can't believe I did not start writing to-do's earlier in my life.  Writing down my tasks and appointments has lessened my stress level and now, the cobwebs in my mind are gone.  I feel so much lighter.

Now, I have a planner that stays at home and a planner that goes with me wherever I go.  I have also started another journal.  It's called a pray rain journal.  I discovered this kind of journal only last week. It's a tool for manifesting your wishes.  You take any notebook of your choice and in that notebook you are going to write about your wish or dream as if you already have it,  you describe how it feels or how you feel, the way it looks, etc.  You write every day and they say that when you get to the last page, your wish or dream would have come true or you would already be well on your way to making it come true. If you want to know more about it, check out Jeanette's blog.  This is where I first read about it.

I hope this pray rain journal works for me.

What about you?  Do you like journaling/planning?




Thursday, June 30, 2016

How I Spent My Summer Break

It's been quite a while since my last post.  There have been some life events that I wanted to write about here in my blog but I was not able to do so because there were tons of stuff I had to take care of.
I had to send our helper home because she was constantly not feeling well.  And with two dogs living with us, blogging at night was just something I didn't have the strength to do anymore.

Vacation is almost over.  Three days from now I will be going back to school. I am not happy at all about that. I'm already contemplating of retiring from teaching.  Let's hope that will happen in the very near future.

What's for certain is that this summer has certainly been wonderful and productive. No, we didn't go anywhere this summer except for the time Hunnybed treated me and Toots to a staycation at a hotel in Alabang for Mother's Day.

I think it was one of the most memorable Mother's Day that I have ever had since I became a mom.


We also celebrated dad's birthday this summer.  I thank God for giving me one of the most hardworking, loving fathers in the world, I thank God for his rich accomplishments and I pray  that God will continue to bless him with good health and many more happy birthdays spent with us and soon, with our future child.



Since our school's opening was a month later than most schools', I got the bring my nephew to school on his first day. We were all there ---full support!


We also celebrated my husband's birthday in June. I bought him an ice cream cake afterwards and put Sofia's name in the dedication part.

I visited my favorite city...Makati. I have always loved Makati and when I was young it was my dream to work there.  It is for that reason that I turned down all job offers without a Makati office address when I graduated from college.  I got my dream. I was a Makati girl for 8 years.  Leaving Makati to work in a school is another (quite long) story.


And of course, if I visited Makati on a weekday, you'd be sure I'd drop by the first company I worked for.  I haven't been with them for a long time, but every time I visit I still feel I belong.  I have always said that most of the people I consider to be my true friends are the ones I met here in this insurance company.
I've always liked then and now photos.  Here's one with me and my friend Lalaine.We have been friends since 1998 and  though we seldom see each other, it's like nothing has changed when we do.

This summer, I also had a chance to meet two other friends, one of them was my best friend in college, Jen.  Too bad we were not able to take a pic, we were too busy catching up to think about taking a selfie!

And aside from all this lunches, dinners, coffee meet-ups, I was able to make a lot of pre-ordered notebooks, sewed some other things like totes, laptop sleeves and made water color projects.  
I love these TN inserts here!  They're ready for shipping but I am absolutely jealous!  I love pink and I just love these patterns.  I am certainly going to make one for myself!
So you see? I really have been productive.  However, I still was not able to make the more pressing projects that I had in my list. Oh well....I really have to look at my schedule and see where I can squeeze them in.

What about you? What kept you busy this summer?